updated 6/25/2013 10:50:17 AM ET 2013-06-25T14:50:17

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
June 24, 2013
Guest: Cecile Richards


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Ed Snowden did not fly Cuba today, as he
had planned. And whenever he does get back to the United States, Ed
Snowden is going to need a lawyer better than the one who decided to begin
his defense of George Zimmerman today with a knock-knock joke.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: My name`s Ed Snowden. Ed Snowden. Ed
Snowden.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Charged by the U.S. government with espionage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Single-handedly deciding to expose programs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Snowden is on the move.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was on the flight. Some flight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave Hong Kong aboard a Russian jet liner.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From Russia with no love.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did this guy get away?

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Putin always seems almost eager to
put a finger in the eye of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was not on board.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He may head to Cuba later today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least we don`t believe he was on board.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His final destination could still be Ecuador,
where he has requested asylum.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From one tyrannical government to another.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we should focus on what Edward Snowden
has given to the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of folks were calling him a hero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he really believes he did something good, he
should get on a plane, come back, and face the consequences.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He might actually be trading intelligence with
some of these countries.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: I want to get him caught and
brought back for trial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Until then Snowden remains at large.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did this guy get away?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a kind of fugitive purgatory.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Floor five. Subway muggers, aggressive
panhandlers, and book critics.

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Have you seen -- not Edward Snowden,
but have you seen this guy? That`s a red panda. The national zoo in
Washington is missing a red panda.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His name is rusty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have Inspector Clouseau look for him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And now he`s back on his way to the zoo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lowest level. Everybody off.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Aeroflot`s nonstop today from Moscow to Havana left with
these two seats empty, 17A and B. NBC confirmed yesterday that Ed Snowden
had purchased a seat on that flight. The other empty seat presumably
belonging to his new travel companion Sarah Harrison who is a WikiLeaks
legal defense team member.

The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, had this to say today from
his asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London --

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: Edward Snowden left Hong Kong on
the 23rd of June, bound for Ecuador via a safe path through Russia and
other states. Mr. Snowden has submitted an asylum application to Ecuador
and possibly to other countries. We are aware of where Mr. Snowden is. He
is in a safe place, and his spirits are high. We cannot reveal what
country he is in at this time. In relation to Hong Kong, Mr. Snowden was
supplied with a refugee document of passage by the Ecuadorian government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today, Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC News this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: I`m not going to get into the
details of what is going on except to say that we continue to hope that the
Russians will do the right thing. I hope it`s a good sign he isn`t on that
flight and that something else may take place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today, "The South China Morning Post" reports this:
"Edward Snowden secured a job with a U.S. government contractor for one
reason alone -- to obtain evidence of Washington`s cyber spying networks.
`The South China Morning Post` can reveal for the first time Snowden has
admitted he sought a position at Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect
proof about the U.S. National Security Agency`s secret surveillance
programs ahead of planned leaks to the media."

"My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of
machines all over the world the NSA hacked," he told "The Post" on June
12th. "That is why I accepted that position about three months ago."

Today, a reporter asked President Obama if he had spoken to Russian
President Vladimir Putin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re following all
the appropriate legal channels and working with various other countries to
make sure that rule of law is observed. And beyond that I`ll refer to the
Justice Department that has been actively involved in the case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: So, Joy Reid, do you take that as a yes or a no?

JOY REID, THEGRIO.COM: I think --

O`DONNELL: He left room for a yes there, that he has picked up the
phone and spoken to Vladimir about this.

REID: I`m guessing that there have been conversations had, because
this is a mess. I mean, we`ve essentially had China, where we supposedly
had an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, say sorry, we`re not sending him
back, we`re sending him to Russia. And then you have the Russians saying,
sorry, we`re sending him to Havana maybe.

And then we have Ecuador saying, well, we`re going to let him stay.

Essentially, the United States, you know, has asked that basically
just duly ratified treaties of extradition be observed, and these countries
are saying, no, we`re not going to do it. And then they just happen to
also be the beneficiaries of some of these leaks. It`s all unpleasant.

O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe, you`ve written a book of the way things
work inside Obama world. What`s your bet on what President Obama does in
this situation in terms of just picking up the phone and talking to Putin
about this?

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: So presidents don`t pick up
the phone if they`re not going to get the answer they want. It`s a bit
like a lawyer asking a question he doesn`t know the answer to.

However, his national security adviser, his ambassador, all the way
up and down the chain, they`re going to be pressing the Russians and
knowing they`re go to get no for an answer. Honestly, this is about
storing up sort of chits for the next dispute, the next time the Russians
want several people, Russians handed over to them, which is actually what
they just asked for and got from the Americans.

Part of the problem here is whether these countries think there`s
going to be retribution. And if the reports are right, from the Chinese
side Chinese officials did not believe having gone through that nice sort
of happy, clappy little summit they had, the Chinese leader did not fear
that the relationship would be jeopardized by handing Snowden on to another
country because they thought everything was hunk dory.

O`DONNELL: But they also are reports from China saying, Joy, that
the officials there felt a certain political pressure --

REID: Right.

O`DONNELL: -- because Snowden`s position had gained some kind of
popular following in Hong Kong and China.

REID: Correct.

O`DONNELL: But Putin`s never been one to be -- to feel that kind of
pressure, any kind of, you know, political electoral pressure. He`s just
going to do what he thinks is right for him under the circumstances. And
why would it not be right for him and a good deal for him to transact some
business here, which ends up delivering Snowden to the U.S.?

REID: Well, there`s a whole sort of tangled web we have here. On
the Chinese point, the United States has accused China of various forms of
hacking including corporate espionage. They now have sort of a moral
victory saying ha ha, you know, there`s evidence you`ve done it too.

On Putin`s side, it`s a little more complicated. Actually a lot more
complicated. We`re trying to negotiate with him about Syria.

We`re trying to gain his cooperation to get more intelligence
regarding the Boston bombings. There`s this whole slew of issues upon
which we`re trying to work with someone who is basically a frenemy. There
is not close a relationship here of trust.

So, Putin, you know, the question for him is what is best for Putin,
you said that`s what he`s going to do. Would it be best for him to hand
Snowden over but what would he get in return?

O`DONNELL: What incentive does he have to help Snowden?

WOLFFE: Putin?

O`DONNELL: Yes.

WOLFFE: Well, he`s got four laptops. So what the Chinese he already
extracted just from the interviews that --

O`DONNELL: But wait, wait. You cannot make a deal with Putin. You
can sit there and say to him, OK, you will give me asylum if I will give
you the laptops. OK, great. You hand him the laptops. He doesn`t have to
do what he just said he was going to do.

REID: He`s just going to take the laptops, right?

WOLFFE: As far as we can tell, the Chinese have got plenty of
intelligence out of Snowden already just based on his press interviews by
saying, hey, here are the IP addresses of these institutions the NSA has
been hacking. Snowden presumably is going to be doing the same. If he
doesn`t already, the Russians will seize whatever goods he`s got.

And so, no, there`s no basis for negotiation for Snowden. There`s
all the basis that Putin wants to get exactly what he wants, which is
everything the NSA knows about Russian sources.

O`DONNELL: Joy, what do you make of this new development in the
Chinese press saying that this was an infiltration, this was I have decided
to go in to get this job so that I can violate the secrecy pledges that I
will make on my way in to doing the job?

REID: Correct. Well, first of all, it`s fraud. It seems on its
face to be fraud.

This answers one of the questions that I had when Glenn Greenwald
tweeted that he began working with Snowden in February but Snowden only had
the job for three months, meaning he would have gotten the job let`s say in
May. So the question was, well, when he got the job, did the journalist
Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald know he was going to Booz Allen with the
intention of getting information and was he honest with them, did he tell
them in February I`ve got information that he didn`t yet have and then take
the job in order to obtain it?

There`s all sorts of questions here that haven`t been answered
including by the journalists, by the way, who their whole point is
transparency, but we`ve had this information sort of drip out now. We
didn`t get it from those journalists in the first place saying, no, maybe
he didn`t actually have this stuff when we talked to him in February.

And then I have this other question about they`re saying that -- or
at least Glenn Greenwald is saying he didn`t even know who the guy was,
didn`t know his name until they flew to Hong Kong and transacted the leak.
Well, my question is would you fly to Hong Kong and go through all of that
trouble for someone you had no idea who they were and no verification of
their identity? There are still so many questions about that that it has
literally taken all the steam out of arguing about the actual contents of
what was disclosed.

O`DONNELL: But, Richard, does that revelation, about, you know, in
effect I infiltrated this position deliberately, just meaning I
deliberately went in ahead of time with this in mind, what does that do in
terms of the legal charges we`re seeing against him? Does it make those
legal charges fit a little better?

WOLFFE: Well, there a so many legal charges against him. I mean,
look, assuming --

O`DONNELL: I mean the espionage piece of it, which is the
controversial -- the most controversial piece of it.

WOLFFE: I think it complicates any defense that he could possibly
mount, were he to be in a situation where he`d have to mount a defense.
But let`s just be clear. This is a guy, according to his own lawyer in
China, who only took up his flight into Russia and wherever he`s going from
there because he realized that in prison, he would not have access to a
computer.

So we`re talking about someone of fairly limited intelligence --

O`DONNELL: When did that occur?

WOLFFE: -- even working in the intelligence system.

O`DONNELL: Yes. We have such limited material from him. You know,
we have just that video that we`ve seen. It`s about 12 minutes long. And
then we have, you know, the Hong Kong paper every once in a while dribbling
out something that they got.

And so on this tiny body of information there is to me a surprising
amount of naivete. For someone who is this sharp -- because look, he`s
been really sharp about a lot of stuff, including getting into this job in
the first place and then pulling off what he`s pulled off. He`s been
really, you know, great at that part of what he was trying to do, the
expose part.

But his anticipation of what would occur or how much things could
change because of it, his actual notion of what the NSA was doing and its
power -- I mean, he actually believed, according to his words, that the NSA
can determine every decision I have ever made --

REID: Correct.

O`DONNELL: -- by looking at my phone records, not the content of my
calls. That`s impossible. That`s an exaggerated techno version of how the
world works.

So it makes you wonder if he knew, you know, then everything he now
knows, would he have done this?

REID: Yes, and the question did he believe that the NSA program
which swept in domestic numbers in the process of looking at foreign data
of who called who, the fact that he leaked a court order, did he believe
that it was nonetheless illegal what the NSA was doing? There are a lot --
and then there`s the sort of hyperbole, well, the government is going to
kill me.

No, the government wants to prosecute you, like they prosecuted
previous alleged leakers. With a total of 50 months in prison resulting.

So the idea, sort of the hyperbole about himself, about his power and
ability to wiretap the president, all of it is a very odd picture.

O`DONNELL: He`s now presenting himself to Ecuador as a
constitutional scholar, saying that you know, the NSA, this program
violates the Fourth Amendment, even though the Supreme Court --

REID: There`s been a Supreme Court ruling on it.

O`DONNELL: It doesn`t violate it. He`s holding himself to --
listen, I disagree with the Supreme Court on a bunch of stuff, too. But I
wouldn`t make that my claim for asylum.

And so, he as a character in this thing has various depths. He`s
very good at the IT stuff, not so good at the constitutional and legal
defense stuff.

WOLFFE: So he`s found the perfect partner in Julian Assange. That`s
prone to hyperbole, questionable sort of real world understanding, but
actually extremely effective in sparking a debate about secrecy, about the
power of the United States government.

Let`s just be clear. Whatever his motives are, whatever his motives
are, this debate is now engaged, it`s very real, and it should have been
gauged a long time ago by Congress and the courts. So his motives,
extremely questionable. His intelligence I think is also extremely
questionable.

But these are real issues. And we should be discussing them.

REID: But Julian Assange --

O`DONNELL: Tthere`s a problem with the debate, which is we just ran
out of time and didn`t get to have it, because we`re busy on the chase
story, which we`re covering the chase story.

The funny thing is that his chase story, which is dramatic and
interesting to cover, takes up really the space that would be the debate he
wanted. We were doing more of that debate before this chase got so crazy.

So he`s kind of -- he`s stuck in this position where his own actions
counter what he`s --

WOLFFE: It`s hard to speak for openness when you`re hiding behind
tyrannical governments.

REID: Right, and hopscotching through each tyrannical regime to the
next.

O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe, thanks for your guidance on this tonight.

Joy, you can`t leave. We`re going to do Trayvon Martin and George
Zimmerman coming up. I need you for that. So you can --

REID: Hang out.

O`DONNELL: -- take a break, but you`re coming back.

And later tonight, it is Texas versus women, as another Republican
says something breathtaking about rape. This time it was a woman. Cecile
Richards will join me later. It`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In a 7-1 decision announced by the Supreme Court today
the affirmative action program at the University of Texas at Austin will be
allowed to continue, but the court held that universities must demonstrate
that, quote, "available workable race-neutral alternatives do not suffice"
before taking account of race in admissions decisions.

While Chief Justice John Roberts was a student at Harvard College, he
may well have seen a play written by Paris Barclay, who was also at Harvard
then, where Paris Barclay wrote 16 plays and musicals as an undergraduate.
No one who was at Harvard then was surprised to see Paris Barclay go on to
a successful career as a writer and director. But no one would have
predicted that Paris Barclay would become the first black president of the
Directors Guild of America because we would have all expected that that
liberal Hollywood union would have elected a black president long before
the United States of America did.

On Friday, the Directors Guild announced that their new president is
the Emmy-winning director Paris Barclay, whose work you have seen on such
shows as "The West Wing," "E.R.," "Glee," "The Good Wife," and "Lost" and
many others.

President Barclay said this to "The L.A. Times": "It`s not surprising
that more and more of our members are of different colors and different
genders. The more important question is, why aren`t the studios and the
networks doing a better job as far as hiring talented women and
minorities?"

Up next, which Republican is trying the hardest to stop immigration
reform?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Today, the Senate voted 67-27 to end debate and move
forward on an immigration reform bill including a new border security
amendment designed to get more Republicans on board. That amendment adds
more than $32 billion in security measures, nearly double the number of
border agents and adding more drones, radar, sensors, and planes to patrol
the border, along with the completion of 700 miles of border fence.

Many senators did not vote today because of travel delays getting to
Washington due to thunderstorms on the East Coast. Fifteen Republicans
joined every voting Democrat to push the legislation forward. And while
the Senate still has more work to do on the bill, Majority Leader Harry
Reid is already putting pressure on House Republicans, especially Speaker
John Boehner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: The immigration bill before
the senate is another example of bipartisan legislation. The immigration
bill will pass this chamber with Democratic and Republican votes. And when
the immigration bill passes, the speaker should bring it up for a vote in
the House of Representatives quickly. Do the right thing. Seek votes from
Democrats and Republicans. America deserves a common sense approach.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Ari Melber, this thing as I read says it is going to pass
the Senate and it`s going to pass the Senate with this new amendment that
strengthens the border provisions. What do you make of that new piece?

MELBER: I think that`s what they`ve got to do to get it done.
They`ve obviously said, the Democrats, that they want 60-plus, they want
the super, super majority.

But I think that`s probably good politics here given that Speaker
Boehner needs a lot of cover to do his job, he will not do his alone. He
needs Democrats to help him get Republicans on the Senate side for cover.
And look, this is a lot farther than where we were last time. You`ve got
to remember, of course, the Republicans had filibuster at a point of about
50 strong in 2007.

So we`ve seen this issue move a lot already.

O`DONNELL: What does Mitch McConnell want here? Does he want this
thing to pass without having his fingerprints on it, basically?

MELBER: Yes. I think Mitch McConnell is comfortable getting this
thing off his desk. And I think he`s got a tension obviously where the
donor class and the sort of cosmopolitan establishment wing of the
Republican Party sees the interest in this. And he`s got some Senate --
you know, Senate candidates and senators who want to be candidates for the
higher office who`d like to get something through like Marco Rubio,
obviously, that is tough enough but allows them to look basically
progressive on immigration.

O`DONNELL: The Ted Cruz side, the Republicans, Jeff Sessions, those
guys who are standing in the way, they know it`s just going to run right
over them, right?

MELBER: I think they know that. And I think people -- like we can
look to history and go back to `07 because it`s instructive. You had
Senator Cornyn make a lot of noise back then. They put concessions in the
bill for him and then he ultimately voted against it when it was up for the
cloture.

So we know there`s a class of senator here who is in the Republican
Party, wants to look tough, make noise, and then not even support the
thing.

O`DONNELL: Now, John Boehner has said he wants this done, he wants
immigration reform done. It`s coming his way now. He`s got problems there
tin to get anything from the House, as we saw with this agriculture bill.

MELBER: Right. And the agriculture bill of course we had the huge
split where they said look, we have to care a lot more about long-term
deficits than $5 per person per day in food stamp benefits.

O`DONNELL: But I mean also politically, the big thing was he had to
mix Democrat and Republican votes. And that`s a really tough thing for him
to do. He`s going to have to do that on immigration.

MELBER: Absolutely. And I think ultimately what he said was don`t
put me in a position where I have to again break the so-called Hastert Rule
and go with a majority of the representatives but not a majority of my
party, which every time they say that, Hastert Rule basically is Washington
speak for "I care more about my narrow political interests than the country
and than democracy", literally, because democracy would be let it down to a
floor vote.

So I think he would like to have at least a bare majority of
Republicans. That`s very important to Speaker Boehner.

O`DONNELL: And the one thing I just need to say to America, the
Hastert Rule is not a rule.

MELBER: No, it`s not.

O`DONNELL: It`s just a practice, a way I`d like to do things. A
political formula.

MELBER: As they used to say on "Saturday Night Live," it`s neither
Hastert nor rule because Denny Hastert is long gone.

O`DONNELL: Right.

MELBER: And it`s not a rule and it`s not written down anywhere.
It`s a really ridiculous, you know, super majoritarian thing that says, you
know, we need to have a super majority in the Senate, now up to 70 as I`ve
been complaining about, and then we have to have a majority of a majority
of one party in the House. It`s not very democratic.

I do think there are signs to be hopeful here, though.

O`DONNELL: Ari Melber, thank you very much for joining me tonight.

MELBER: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Coming up day one of the murder trial of George
Zimmerman. Joy Reid will be back for that one.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, the state of Florida versus
George Zimmerman. But first, something our lawyers would like you to know.
George Zimmerman has sued NBC universal, the parent company of this
network, for defamation. The company has strongly denied his allegations.

The prosecution began its case against George Zimmerman using
Zimmerman`s own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN GUY, ASSISTANT STATE PROSECUTOR: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) punks.
These (EXPLETIVE DELETED), they always get away. Those were the words in
that grown man`s mouth as he followed in the dark a 17-year-old boy who he
didn`t know.

(EXPLETIVE DELETED punks. These (EXPLETIVE DELETED), they always get
away. Those were the words in that defendant`s head just moments before he
pressed that pistol into Trayvon Martin`s chest and pulled the trigger.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And here is how the defense began today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON WEST, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Knock. Knock. Who`s there?
George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman who? All right. Good. You`re on the
jury. Nothing? That`s funny.

After what you folks have been through the last two or three week weeks.
Let`s get on to, however, the serious business of why we`re here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, George Zimmerman and any defendant in America
deserves better than a knock-knock joke to begin his opening statement.

JOY-ANN REID, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I was really shocked.

O`DONNELL: Amazing.

REID: And Don West is not a bad lawyer. He has done a pretty good job up
till now in terms of the voir dire, et cetera. It was so off base because
you have to remember that the 30 minutes before that had been a really
riveting presentation by the prosecution that had caused the parents of
Trayvon Martin to weep in court. They were drying their eyes as he went
through and really reset that sort of meek pudgy guy sitting across the
room as a predator. They reset George Zimmerman in the harshest terms.
That f bomb was dropped at the outset and then three more times. Hardcore.
And then you go from that really dramatic 30 minutes of really riveting
presentation by the prosecutor to this sort of bumbling fumbling joke where
he had to sort of pre-explain it and then he kind of apologized. It was so
awkward that I really do think it was a disservice to the defense.

O`DONNELL: But the larger part of the opening, this 2 1/2-hour opening
versus the half hour opening. Half hour openings make sense to me. That`s
what I`ve always seen in these kinds of cases.

REID: Yes.

O`DONNELL: Very rarely more than that. It`s just the opening. You`re
just giving them a guideline. This 2 1/2 hour thing I think was a mistake
because there were actually came a point where there were shots of George
Zimmerman having trouble looking like he could stay awake. And I`m not
saying that in a negative way. It was hard sit through a lot of it.

What he was trying to do obviously was de-emotionalize this whole thing,
but what you don`t want to do is turn it into a boring, not even possible
to pay attention to all the way through.

REID: Yes, never be boring. I think that`s pretty much the mantra. And
the other thing is the only purpose for the opening, right? Is for you to
set up this, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is what I`m promising you.
I`m making you these series of promises. You need to make them succinct.
You need to make them memorable.

And what people are going to remember I think from this opening is the f
bombs that were dropped and that sort of jarring scene it set and that
joke.

O`DONNELL: And the quotes that the prosecutor had from Zimmerman came from
the 911 call. They each made statements about the 911 call during their
openings. Let`s listen to what the prosecution said the jury is going to
hear on the 911 call.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN GUY, ASSISTANT STATE PROSECUTOR: Listen carefully, please, to that
call. And listen carefully when the screaming stops. It`s right when the
gunshot goes off. Trayvon Martin was silenced immediately when the bullet
that the defendant fired passed through his heart. And when that gunshot
rings out on that 911 call, the screaming stops.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: OK. And then here is the defense`s presentation on that same
point.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WEST: Because of what the fear and the panic and the life-threatening
situation does to you, it changes everything. There`s nothing predictable.
A 50-year-old man can sound like a 14-year-old girl. There are family and
friends of George Zimmerman, co-workers, who listened to the recording,
either on -- when it was played in the media or elsewhere, who said that`s
George Zimmerman screaming for help.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That`s one of the big things that`s going to come down to. Who
do you think that is on the tape?

REID: Yes. It`s going to be --

O`DONNELL: Because the expert testimony`s been --

REID: It`s almost a wash because you`re going to have Zimmerman`s side
putting on witnesses saying that sounds like his voice and you`re going to
have the Martin side. I think that is almost a wash at this point. I
think more important is the narrative and which seems more plausible to be
the person screaming. I don`t think it`s going to come down to voice
recognition. It`s going to be which side can set a scenario that means
that it seems more plausible that that party was the one that was
screaming.

O`DONNELL: The prosecutor`s point about exactly when the screaming stops
may end up being the controlling point for the jury because it is people,
you know, demean circumstantial evidence, that they don`t really
understand, circumstantial evidence is always accurate. You might not know
what it means, but we know exactly when the screaming stopped with very
precise accuracy.

REID: Yes. And the prosecution, I thought, made a lot of really detailed
sort of presentations about the gun being pressed to Trayvon Martin`s
chest, about Trayvon Martin winding up face down. They said they had a
witness that took a picture of Trayvon Martin with his arms und his body
whereas Zimmerman`s testimony to Sorino (ph), to the officer who was
investigating, said that he spread Trayvon Martin`s arms out.

So, there are really specific things the prosecution promised whereas
because I think Don West took so long it`s hard to remember a lot of the
promises that he made. And I think when they go back and actually put
witnesses on the stand the defense is going to have to get a lot more
specific and hone it down and make it simpler to remember.

O`DONNELL: What Don West may have succeeded in today is giving the jury
the impression that this is a really complicated case. It`s not a simple
case. And the defense needs you to think it`s a complicated case.

REID: Yes. It kind of in a sense reminded me of the Rodney King trial
when they took that video which seemed so damning when looked at in total
and they said we`ll break it down second by second. Don West was almost
saying take this second by second. And it was at excruciating because he
was trying to make it more complex and bring the temperature of the whole
presentation down. Remember, they have to preserve this image that
Zimmerman is the fearful party of the two when the prosecution has made him
seem to be the aggressor.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, thank you very much for joining us again.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the IRS non-scandal. We have a new report on what
really happened at the IRS. That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, Mallory, my days as an academic star are
over. From now on at school I`m just going to be one of the pack. A
nobody. Just another slug fighting to keep my head above water. How do
you handle it?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: America might not know and love Michael J. FOX were it not for
Gary David Goldberg, who created "Family Ties" and introduced Michael to a
TV audience much bigger than any show on television could possibly hope for
today.

Gary died on Saturday at his home in California. He leaves behind much
more than his Emmys and a couple hundred episodes of great television. His
generosity was limitless and often anonymous.

His wife, Diana Meehan, and an educator with particular expertise in girls`
education. In her book "learning like a girl" Diana tells this story about
her struggle to establish a new girls` school in Los Angeles.

In panic and near hysteria I confide my fears to Gary. The school needs a
loan to cover our costs, I tell him, but the bank won`t do it without some
outside collateral. We can do it, he says quietly. We`ll mortgage the
house."

Mortgage the house. He was that kind of guy. Since then the archer school
for girls has been sending its graduates down the road to UCLA and off to
Harvard and everywhere in between. Gary was as proud of every archer
graduate as he was of his work in television.

Every archer girl will always owe Gary and Diana a debt of gratitude. Gary
and Diana were a great Hollywood love story, probably because their love
began long before Gary even considered working in Hollywood. Gary reveled
in his household of women, his wife and their two daughters, Seana and
Calin. In an interview six years ago for the archive of American
television Gary was asked how he wanted to be remembered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: How would you like to be remembered?

GARY GOLDBERG, CREATOR, FAMILY TIES: Wow. You know, I don`t know.
Actually, I`d like to live forever and not be remembered. I was a guy who
showed up for work. It was work. And I showed up and took the chance. I
think the thing I did, which I would credit myself, is I took the chance of
finding out whether I could do it or not. I think it`s important to do
that. A lot of people say I could be a writer, I don`t have the time. You
know, it`s very funny at parties. Yes. Well, you have to show up and put
your ass on the table and see whether you can do it.

But I think that -- I want to believe that I made my success not at the
expense of anyone else. I want to be remembered as Seana -- this is how I
will be remembered, as Seana and Calin`s father, because both these girls
will surpass me by a mile. And that`s how I`ll be remembered.

Yes, they had the father who was also in the business. That should be --
that`ll be how I will be remembered. Yes, he also did something.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Tomorrow would have been Gary David Goldberg`s 69th birthday.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: So what we have here in this horrifying scandal are IRS agents
doing their jobs, doing exactly what they`re supposed to do.

That was ay very lonely view of the IRS so-called scandal, until today.
When the IRS itself under its new Obama-appointed temporary director issued
its own report, a report that had to be very disappointing to John Boehner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: My question isn`t about
who`s going to resign. My question is who`s going to jail over this
scandal?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And the IRS`s official answer to that today is, no one. The
report found that no one committed any crimes. The report says "we have
not found evidence of intentional wrongdoing by IRS personnel." And there
was nothing in the new report to encourage Darrell Issa`s wild imagings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: This was a
targeting of the president`s political enemies, effectively, and lies about
it during the election year so that it wasn`t discovered till afterwards.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The report also could not find quote "involvement in these
matters" by anyone outside of the IRS. Sorry, Darrell.

The IRS reports that progressive, yes, the word "progressive" was used as a
search term to identify applications for tax-exempt status also. So, so
much for the targeting of the president`s political enemies theory.

The IRS report did devote some attention to the problem I identified on the
first day of this so-called scandal, which is of course the conflict
between the law as written and the IRS regulation that interprets that law.

The law says 501c4 organizations must be exclusively for the promotion of
social welfare in the IRS regulation written in 1959 says that they must be
primarily for social welfare. The IRS was, of course, wrong to change
exclusively to primarily in the regulation. The report found no reason to
justify why the IRS made that change in 1959.

In the interview transcript of the IRS manager in Cincinnati who managed
this program, you know, the transcript that Darrell Issa wanted to suppress
and was released last week by Congressman Elijah Cummings. The manager who
is a self-described conservative Republican told Issa`s staff during a six-
hour interview, "my agents, you must understand, are veteran people that do
understand we do have some tax law background that tells us OK, that when
we do look at this type of case that the political activity, you cannot be
primary, and if anybody wants to define that for me, go ahead."

Well, of course, none, exactly none of the committee staff attempted to
define what "primarily" means in the 501c4 regulation because of course
it`s impossible to define, which is why the people who wrote the law,
Congress, used the word "exclusively," which is very easy to explain and
understand.

The solution to this problem is now a petition at whitehouse.gov calling on
President Obama to issue an executive order nullifying the IRS regulation
regarding 501c4s and mandating the original statute be enforced. So you
can go now to whitehouse.gov, do it right now, please, pull up this
petition. And then click. Let`s see. Right here. There. And there we
go. I`m seven. I am the seventh signature, 99,993 of you now need to go
there during this commercial break and click on that so that we get t up
over 100,000. And once you do that, the White House has to actually
respond to that petition.

And so, if you 99,993 of you will do that during the next commercial break,
you will be moving America one small step closer to sanity on 501c3 law.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: As some of you might have noticed, I wasn`t here last week. I
was in Malawi working on the kids in need of desks program. There`s a new
factory building some of our desks now. It`s one of four factories in the
country that are providing jobs to the workers who build and deliver these
desks.

I always tell the crews on the truck that they won`t have to carry the
desks into the classrooms, the kids will do that. And of course the kids
did that this week, last week, with real glee. Those smiles you`re seeing
are from kids who have never before in their lives seen desks. And
suddenly they get to sit at those desks. Thanks to you and your
contributions to the KIND fund.

I love this picture of her looking straight at you because she`s looking at
the people who sent her that desk. I told her and the rest of the kids
through a translator that we were able to deliver these desks to them
because you paid for them.

There`s much more to do. These kids need desks. But first they need a
classroom. They`re at one of the overcrowded schools that has no room for
them in the classrooms. But still they come. Most of them walking miles,
barefoot, to get to school.

The KIND fund just wants them to have a place to sit after that long walk.
Please help KIND in any way you can.

Coming up, exclusive interview with Cecile Richards on the latest anti-
choice legislation in Texas.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Republicans in the Texas state House of Representatives passed
a bill that bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, requires
doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, limits abortions
to surgical centers and requires doctors string anti-inducing drugs to do
so in person. A Republican sponsor of the bill explained why she believes
a rape exception is not necessary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE REP. JODIE LAUBENBERG (R), TEXAS: You have hospital emergency rooms.
We have funded what`s called rape kits that will help the woman, basically
clean her out and again, hopefully that will alleviate that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now from Austin, Texas is planned parenthood
president Cecile Richards.

Cecile, you`re down there in Texas fighting this thing. You hear a woman
say something like this about the possible consequences of rape and the
magic of rape kits. You`re from Texas. Were you a shocked by that as the
rest of us?

CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Well, of course, it was
shocking. And it sort of exploded. But honestly, this is, Lawrence, just
one more evidence -- good piece of evidence of why politicians make
terrible doctors and they shouldn`t be making medical decisions for women.

And I think that what we`re seeing down here, it`s great to be back in
Austin, where literally hundreds of people have flooded the capitol and are
testifying about the dangers of this legislation. This has really lit a
fire in the state of Texas.

O`DONNELL: What happens next?

RICHARDS: Well, of course, we start again tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.
and there will be this -- tomorrow night is the end of the session. So the
question is whether or not we can continue on, whether through filibuster
or other means, to make sure that this bill does not pass. But the thing
that`s been extraordinary, Lawrence, is I feel like we`ve seen in Texas a
whole series of political actions against women.

You know, first Rick Perry cut off women off of birth control and cancer
screening. The end of the women`s health program. Then we saw, of course,
he vetoed a bill that would have allowed women to fight for equal pay.
This is really -- this has been I think finally the straw that broke the
camel`s back. And it`s been amazing and encouraging to see the men and
women who have poured out in opposition to these bills. And it`s really
become the people`s filibuster here in Texas.

O`DONNELL: If you could isolate the worst provision in this bill from your
perspective, what would that be?

RICHARDS: Well, I mean, the worst provision of course is the -- are the
pieces that would essentially shut down health care centers because they
don`t have either admitting privileges at local hospitals for their doctors
and provisions that would make them go to such extremes as to essentially
become hospitals. It`s not necessary. In fact, lieutenant Governor Dew
Hurst has said the purpose of this bill has nothing to do with women`s
health. It really just has to do with shutting down women`s health care
centers.

And I think the important thing, Lawrence, is that it`s not only ending
women`s access to safe and legal abortion but a lot of these centers and
certainly the planned parenthood centers provide a whole other range of
health care as well. And that`s what I think we`re seeing, is people
beginning to connect the dots here, even if the politicians are not, and
they`re saying they`re just tired of the political attacks on women`s
access to health care in Texas.

O`DONNELL: Cecile, you know, I had the honor of seeing Holland Taylor play
your mother yesterday at the show she`s doing here in New York, about Ann
Richards, governor of Texas. And I can`t help thinking when I see this
story tonight that this really is not Ann Richards` Texas that`s working on
this. If she was in the governorship, there would be nothing to worry
about on this kind of thing.

RICHARDS: Well, but you know, it`s interesting. You know, more than 20
years ago mom was elected governor. And her message was she wanted to open
up government and invite the people in. And what I would say is more than
a thousand people this weekend took her up on that offer. And so that`s --
this I h kind of democracy. And it`s wonderful to see people actually
fighting back and fighting back for what they believe in and fighting back
for women.

O`DONNELL: Ann Richards` spirit lives in those halls.

Cecile Richards, thank you very much for joining tonight.

RICHARDS: That`s right. Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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